As every writer knows, writing a book is only the first step in the process of getting their thoughts and ideas into the hands of potential readers. The following processes are editing, proofreading, converting and publishing. When they are done, it is time for publicity or marketing. This is where the hard work begins.
Unless you are writing for friends and family you want other people to read your book. Preferably, you want other people to buy and download your book. In order to reach potential readers you need to engage in the act of publicity.
There are different ideas as to when the act of marketing should start. Is it best to start when the book is ready to be sold? Is it best to start when the book has been written and build up some early interest? Should the author go all out and have a pre-ordering service set up? There’s lot of conflicting advice out there from agents and publicists.
Having read blogs, listened to established writers, researched author publicity and pondered the questions I have to say I am no nearer a solution. What I did become aware of at the London Book Festival was of the need for a business card. Even in the modern age when everything is on line, people asked for my card. I didn’t have one, of course. I soon sorted this out by ordering a bunch of 100 cards from Vistaprint. Now, when anyone asks for my details I just hand over my card with my name, contact information and online sites. It makes life much easier and I feel like a proper professional.
Now, I have actually finished the first novel in my cozy mystery series I am looking at publicity. I noticed at the LBF that many of the successful indie authors had business cards specifically advertising their books. Barbara Freethy’s springs to mind. Some had postcards. Business cards are cheaper, so I will probably be looking at getting a stack of them. My plan is to hand them out on the tube whenever I see a person reading a Kindle.
I already have some tee shirts advertising my website (they are a real conversation starter). I am thinking of have a tee advertising my book series. I have a load of blank tea towels and cotton bags I could cover with images of my front cover. I am not sure how successful they would be, though.
All agents and publicists stress the importance of having a good website and making use of social media. Now, I am not a social media girl at all even though I do have accounts on Linked In, Twitter and Facebook. I think I am going to have to get over my dislike of them and use them for publicity. I shall be consulting a few blogs and websites on how to do this.
I do have a website dedicated to my writing and have updated it with details of the book. I built the site using Dreamweaver CS6 and Photoshop CS6. The background colour comes from my business card and I have tried to use some elements of the design on site as well. I have also used the book action from Panosfx.com to create both standing and stacking images of the book. I think this is particularly striking and really packs a punch. The action costs 19.99 euros and is well worth the money.
I read on one blog that the website needs to have some basic elements: a home page plugging the book, a page dedicated to the book, an FAQ page, a news or update page and contact details. It only took a couple of hours to put this together on Dreamweaver and I think it looks alright.
These are what the Panos actions look like individually.
My website can be found at http://fromthefrozennorth.co.uk. I would be grateful for any feedback.